July is UV Safety Month, an appropriate time as most of the nation is focused on getting outside to enjoy the sun. With new guidelines about sunscreen issued from the FDA it is more important than ever that everyone work together to make sure the public is well informed about the necessity of sun protection and exactly how to best protect themselves and their family.
Make a sunscreen display to show customers the new recommendations by the FDA. A chart format or a Q&A format are good choices because they can easily be skimmed and will force you to break the information into more manageable pieces that consumers will be more likely to understand. This is also an excellent place to move your sunscreen selection to for the month of July. Next to the display of sunscreens, provide easy to understand definitions about the claims the sunscreens make such as waterproof, water resistant, broad spectrum, and what SPF actually means. Brochures that clients can take with them with the new information could also be included with each purchase.
Nurses and doctors can devote some of their bulletin board space this month to UV Safety with a focus on their specialty. Pediatric offices can display what children and infants need, dermatology offices can discuss the warning signs of too much UV exposure, and ophthalmologists’ offices can show the dangers UV radiation poses to eyesight and how to best protect your eyes.
Although most schools close for the summer, they don’t always close completely. Summer programs, summer school, and summer training or extracurricular activities may still be in full force. Take time at the beginning of the month to show students exactly how much sunscreen should be applied and how often it should be reapplied. Physically taking the time to show them what an ounce of sunscreen looks like will be much more beneficial to students than simply discussing the new guidelines.
Many physical and occupational therapists recommend aquatic exercises to supplement therapy session, some even provide aquatic services. If you recommend patients to swim or to complete exercises in the water be sure you talk to them this month about the importance of properly using sunscreen. The FDA has said sunscreens will not be able to claim to be waterproof in the future. Make sure your patients know they need to reapply sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes (depending on the type they use) if they are in the water or sweating.
How do you plan to make your patients more aware of the dangers of UV radiation? Do you recommend specific sunscreens or products that limit UV exposure? What do you think of the new FDA guidelines for sunscreens?